How to Crack NDA Exam in First Attempt? | Sept 4, 2022

How to crack NDA exam in first attempt
crack NDA exam in first attempt

Hello NDA aspirants, today we are about to start with strategy of one of the most prestigious exams of India, that is, National Defence Academy Exam which is best entry to be part of armed forces. You may be aware about dozens of other Defence entries, but believe me, no other entry can match the career avenues which NDA will provide you. (You will understand this once your attempts are over).

NDA exam will provide you the best career opportunities in Armed forces that too at such a young age (16.5 yrs-19.5yrs). Majority of youth in this NDA age limit will be busy enjoying their college life. You will be living your dream of being part of armed forces and reach top positions in Army, Navy and Air force during your service to mother nation. Moral of writing above 7-8 lines is to tell you importance of every single attempt of NDA and NA exam for defence aspirants.

“Life is too short to make all mistakes on our own. So, we must learn from others mistakes”

I am here to provide detail strategy of each and every subject, guide you in this journey of clearing NDA exam 2022, that too free of cost. If you are ready to work hard for your dreams, I am here to guide you in this journey with NDA exam detailed strategy, important chapters to study, best sources, SSB self- preparation, etc.

Here I will share my experiences as well as experiences of thousands of students who have successfully cleared exam with pure self-study from genuine sources (without paid coaching). Today onwards no NDA aspirant can say that he failed to clear NDA exam due to lack of guidance and study sources. So, let’s start with this article on “How to crack NDA exam in first attempt”.

Tips to crack NDA exam 2022 | (20 Life-changing points: NDA exam)

1. You must follow NDA exam detailed strategies for Maths and GAT

Let us begin with most relevant point, that is, written exam preparation. In first stage of NDA exam, you have to face NDA Maths and NDA General Ability Test papers which contain multiple subjects. Many aspirants fail to clear NDA Written exam because they are confused about sources to study for the exam. I have already made 3 detailed articles on NDA written exam preparation where you will get exact NDA books and even important chapters to study as per syllabus and latest NDA exam pattern trends. Check these NDA exam strategies here:

  • NDA Maths paper detailed strategy= Click Here
  • NDA GAT paper detailed strategy= Click Here
  • NDA English paper detailed strategy (Part of GAT)= Click Here

It is very necessary to read limited sources and revise them multiple times. It took me 7-8 months of research to create this full proof written exam strategy for NDA exam 2022 to score 380+ marks in written exam (40% to 45% marks)

Note: If you think that you will clear NDA exam 2022 with 1 single book, then you are wrong. We need to study best sources for best subjects to tackle a National Level exam conducted by UPSC, for which 4-5 lakh aspirants appear every attempt.

2. Be mentally prepared to study 5-6 hours daily (11th Std onwards)

Don’t wait for your 12th Boards exam to end for starting NDA Exam preparation. If you genuinely want to join NDA, you must be mentally prepared to study 5-6 hours daily for a period of at least 12-14 months. Covering the syllabus and revising sources need hard work and time management. Moreover, your 11th and 12th Science syllabus is inline with NDA syllabus. So, you can create an integrated strategy for NDA exam plus boards so that you dedicate quality time for other subjects like Social Science, English com, Current Affairs, etc

3. Don’t Isolate NDA exam, Boards and Engineering entrance preparation

This is most important point of this article. While studying NCERT books of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Maths for your boards preparation, remember that these books covers basics of NDA exam 2022. Majority of your basic study of NDA Maths paper and NDA GAT paper (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) will be covered in 11th standard and 12th standard Board Books. So, do them with perfection.

To be very frank, 70-80% NDA aspirants are also preparing for National Level Engineering entrance or State level CET. Take this positively, as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology will be automatically prepared if you will study hard for Boards and Engineering entrance test. So that you can dedicate rest of your time on NDA English preparation, Social studies preparation and question paper solving.

4. Maths, English and PCB must be high scoring subjects for Science Background students

Science background students will not get much time to study Polity, Geography, Current affairs in detail. But they have a plus point in NDA exam that they can score very high in Maths, English and PCB as compared to other counterparts. You must see these topic questions from previous year papers and study them parallel when you are preparing for board exam. 50 English questions in GAT paper are highly scoring if you do practice questions as told in detailed strategy. Even 40/50 correct attempt is possible if you study grammar rules and solve previous year papers in time constraint.

5. Your first NDA Exam Attempt will be in April (just after boards): So be Early Bird

11th Standard is not a rest year. Start your NDA exam preparation from 11th standard only. Some mathematical topics like Calculus (Integration and differentiation), Trigonometry, etc need good conceptual clarity and practice which demands time. So, if you will start preparation in 11th standard, you will get an upper edge over other aspirants.

2-3 months before board exam will be busy in Practical, Submission and Boards preparation. So, make realistic plans for NDA exam preparation considering this time loss.

6. Do not wait for Syllabus completion in College/ Coaching class

You can give NDA exam from 16.5 to 19.5 years of age. Actually its 16.5 to 18 years, because many aspirants do not give NDA exam after their admission in Engineering / any other degree. So, in this case, your first attempt will be in 12th standard itself and if you will wait for syllabus completion in college or coaching, you will end up scoring very low marks in Maths and even PCB subjects.

So, make sure that you are self enlightened to complete your syllabus in time and revise before exam. (In today’s era, there are many free youtube videos containing NCERT PCM chapterwise teaching videos of 11th and 12th Standard which you must utilize in NDA exam preparation.

7. Daily “editorial reading” will help in NDA Written + SSB interview

85% aspirants will never read newspaper editorials for NDA preparation. But I will like to tell you that only 2-3 daily editorial reading will help you drastically in scoring 40/50 correct in English section of GAT, Current affairs questions and it will be highly helpful at the time of SSB interview.

Intially it will take time, but with practice you will be able to cover 2-3 editorials in 25-30 minutes. You can choose any English newspaper, but I will recommend The Hindu newspaper (Offline or online)

8. One single book for NDA exam: Those days are gone

Being a National level examination conducted by UPSC, difficulty of questions is increasing day by day. So, we need to be dynamic and study from best sources for each subject. I have provided exact books and even important chapters to study for NDA written examination, so you can rely on it.

Questions asked in NDA exam are moderate to difficult level, but 4-5 lakh NDA applications are received for each attempt which makes the exam highly competitive resulting in higher cutoff marks for every NDA written exam.

9. Stick to Syllabus and types of questions asked in exam (analyze questions)

NDA 2 Months

Remember that you are not studying for doing PhD in any subject. We are studying these subjects to clear written exam of NDA. So, you need to be very specific in choosing the sources you read. This can be possible only if you know the exact NDA syllabus and types of questions asked in NDA exams.

No question repeat in NDA exam, but if you will analyze previous year question papers, you will come to know that same pattern of questions can be seen in written exam, especially for Maths. Your analysis of previous year asked questions plays a very vital role.

It will not take more than 8-10 days to analyse last 3-4 papers, but once done, you will get exact direction about what to study and what not to study

10-A. Focus on scoring 45-50% marks in each paper (Not just clearing cutoff)

After clearing written exam and SSB interview, total of both the stages is done to calculate the merit list. If your score in written exam is on border case, probability is that you can be merit out. Also, if you want to be part of branch (Army, Navy, Airforce) you desire, your score must be high enough to qualify for that branch of armed forces.

So, always aim to score 45-50% marks in written exam, that is, 135+ marks in Maths and 270+ marks in General Ability Test to be on a safer side and get the Branch (Army, Navy, Airforce) of your choice.

10-B. Focus on next NDA exam for which you have atleast 8-10 months of preparation time (attempts)

On an average, every NDA aspirant gets minimum 4-5 attempts. But it doesn’t mean that you give every attempt just for the sake of giving exam. You just need 1 serious attempt to clear NDA exam. So, focus on upcoming attempt which will be after 8-10 months for which you can prepare as per detailed strategies given above. NDA exam 2022 detailed strategy will take time, but it will 100% give results if followed rigorously.

11. Don’t treat SSB as an exam, take it as a way of life

In these 2 years of college life, you are too busy in written exam preparation for NDA as well as other exams which are lined up after every three months and you forget to prepare for SSB. SSB interview preparation is not possible in 2-3 months as officer like qualities and good psychology is developed over a period of time. You need to prepare for SSB tests and implement officer like qualities in day to day life. You must first know the exact SSB interview process and then develop yourself accordingly to qualify those tests.

You must also be physically fit which needs to be a part of your lifestyle over a period of time.

“To be an officer, officer like qualities are also required. So, develop yourself accordingly”

12. NDA English and NDA Maths pattern is almost the same in every attempt. So utilize it

Questions will never repeat in any exam conducted by UPSC. But if you will analyze the English section of GAT paper and Maths paper, most of the questions are predictable and pattern of question remains same. So, while studying for NDA exam 2022, you must give more focus on these topics.

13. Study “weightage of each topic” and give priorities to study them accordingly

I have already done analysis of previous year question papers and created a “Weightage of important topics in NDA written exam”. You just need to have this list of weightage while studying so that you can focus more on those topics.

NDA Maths Paper 120 Questions

(2.5 Marks each)

300 Marks
NDA GAT paper  150 Questions

(4 Marks Each)

600 Marks
UPSC NDA Exam GAT paper Topics Exact number asked Marks
English 50 Questions 200
Physics 23-25 Questions 100
Chemistry 13-15 questions 60
General Science (Biology) 8-10 Questions 40
History, freedom struggle 18-20 questions 80
Geography 18-20 Questions 80
Current events 8-10 Questions 40
Total 150 questions 600 marks

NDA GAT Weightage :

  • English
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • History, Freedom struggle
  • Geography
  • Current Affairs

Also Read: NDA Exam Syllabus 2022 (Chapter-wise weightage of each NDA paper)

Many aspirants spent time on topics which they love to solve or read (Interesting topics). But what is its use if no question will be asked from that particular type? So, your time spent on topic study must be directly proportional to its weightage in written exam.

For example: Weightage of Calculus questions in Maths paper is very high. So, irrespective of your individual choice, it’s expected that you spend more time learning these topics so that more questions can be attempted at the time of actual NDA Maths paper (this is called as Smart study)

14. Minimum 10 papers solving of NDA Maths and GAT is must (remove fear)

Having knowledge is different thing and performing best in exam is different thing. You need to master both these things by solving minimum 10 previous year papers for NDA Maths and NDA GAT which must be solved in given time constraint. You will notice that in each test your score will go on increasing and at the end of 10th test, you will be ready for giving actual NDA exam 2022. (these previous year question papers are available free of cost on )

Many a times aspirants have good knowledge about the topic and even know how to solve questions asked in exam but are unable to solve them in real life exam scenario. This is because of exam fear.

Solving 10 test before actual exam will solve this major issue faced by many aspirants.

Also Read: NDA Result (Written exam and Final Result)

15. No need for Paid coaching at all: But self-preparation must

It’s a myth that Paid Coaching is must to clear NDA written exam and SSB interview. Main role of coaching is to guide you in your preparation and tell best sources to prepare from. I have included all those things and ample guidance from thousands of aspirants in detailed strategy articles, so be ready for self study as per strategies provided for NDA Maths preparation and NDA GAT preparation.

“1 serious NDA attempt= 1 year of Coaching” (believe it or not)

16. Please don’t underestimate NDA exam over IIT JEE or any other exam

Many aspirants think that NDA exam is far easy than IIT JEE Exam, but they must know that NDA Exam is test of many subjects at a time and aspirant need to clear SSB interview to be part of NDA, which makes the process much hard than any other exam at 10+2 level.

Underestimating UPSC NDA exam may lead you to failure for sure. So, take exam seriously and work hard to overcome milestones coming in this 1 year long process.

17. Be highly strategic (Know the questions to leave in Maths paper)

You must have a bird’s eye view about this exam and be ready for upcoming challenges with your preparation. If you don’t have a year long plan or strategy, it’s difficult for you to clear the 4 stages of this exam (Written exam, SSB interview, Medical Test, Final Merit List)

18. Stay away from social media during preparation time (Complete Isolation)

1 year of isolation from Social media can give you desired results by keeping you focused on your target. But make sure that you use technology and internet in your preparation. You are mature enough to know what is good for you and what is bad for you. Your Maths and GAT preparation can be accelerated if you can use the technology efficiently.

Also Check: NDA Eligibility 2022 (Things every NDA aspirant must know)

19. Focus more on revision than using multiple sources

At the time of examination, you will remember only those things which you have revised. So, it’s better to limit your resources and revise them multiple times before actual exam.

(Using multiple sources may seem helpful, but it has killed many dreams in different examinations)

20. You must believe you can!!

Last but not the least, you must believe you can. Let the things happen at psychological level. Along with preparation, also imagine that you will be part of National Defence academy very soon. If you will keep changing goals or bring negative thought in your mind, it will be a disaster in your NDA dream.

And Keep your dream alive even if it’s your last attempt. Generally many aspirants leave their NDA preparation after admission in Engineering college or any other degree.

Because “Perseverance is best substitute to Talent”

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How to clear NDA exam in First Attempt?

A: Master subjects like Maths, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology which are main pillars of NDA exam (You have also covered these subjects in 12th Boards)

Q: How to crack NDA exam without Coaching?

A: Role of the coaching institute is only to guide you. You have a detailed strategy for the NDA exam which is nothing but guidance. So, now focus only on self preparation.

Q: How to crack NDA exam in One Month?

A: Practically speaking, its very difficult to prepare for NDA in one month. But still I will recommend to cover 12th Board syllabus along with NDA Question paper solving.

Q: How to be motivated in NDA Exam Preparation ?

A: You need to be ‘Self Enlightened’ to be motivated for NDA exam. No external force can keep you in preparation phase for 5-6 months (which is must for NDA exam !)

Q: How to clear NDA exam in 12th standard?

A: To clear NDA exam in 12th standard, you need to begin preparation in 11th standard and follow detailed strategies for NDA Maths and GAT paper.

Q: Can a Average Student Crack NDA?

A: Yes, Ofcourse. NDA exam just needs aspirants to be smart and hard working to cover English, GK, Maths and Science Subjects in stipulated time period.

Q: How can I start preparation for NDA?

A: Start preparation for NDA exam with NCERT Books and 12th Board Books. After having basics done, shift to NDA special books as given in strategy. 

Q: Which is the Best Book for NDA Entrance Exam?

A: There is no simgle best book for NDA exam. Its a process where you need to cover basics from NCERT book and then move on to NDA specific books for targetted practice.


You have UPSC NDA Exam Maths and GAT paper detailed strategies to crack NDA Written exam 2022. I will be there to guide you in this journey, now it’s your time to take responsibility on your shoulder. These 21 points of NDA exam preparation must be implemented rigorously if you want to be part of National Defence Academy.

Hopefully your common question of “How to crack NDA written exam in first attempt” is clear now.

And if you still have any doubts, feel free to ask questions in comment section below. I will answer within 24 hours and waiting for your genuine reviews so that we can improve content on our website.

Jai hind !


  1. Hello sir,
    I liked your strategy, and preparation tips it also motivated me a lot.
    sir, I have one question currently I cleared my 11th std. and now i am in 12th. I was not able to fill the NDA EXAM(I)2020, due to certain confusions and my health. sir please give me some tips for preparing for the next exam

  2. Your article is really awesome, i shared it with my all friends. You are doing really a great work. If anyone need help about nda syllabus read this article in detail

  3. Do NDA changes syllabus every year?…if yes, then how can we study right things according to syllabus, if we don’t know correct syllabus?

  4. Sir, your article has inspired me alot and I came to know more about nda exam and it’s preparations.
    Thankyou so much of your valuable time typing all these for students like us who are interested in defence.
    You’ve done a great job inspiring us, guiding us .
    Thankyou so much sir.
    I will recomend your guide to all students who ask me about nda syllabus.


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